• Michael D’Abruzzo

    September 8, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    Barrier frustration is very common with board and trains, especially if the dogs are in crates and in the same general area where they will see/hear you training with other dogs.

    Definitely worse if paired with true separation anxiety, but can also simply be frustration.

    I deal with similar with my 8ish month German Shepherd pup (in her case mainly intense barrier frustration) and her barking and squealing can be crazy in those moments, and I mainly deal with it by managing the order of which I do things and what I do in front of her when she is crated, so the ruckus is limited to seconds vs ongoing.

    From a professional point of view when doing in-kennel, once I switched to a true “kennel” set up vs crated, where I kept dogs in kennel runs separate from where I trained it became a non-issue and made the day so much easier even if dogs had periods of barking. I also would have affordable “busy items” for the dogs to work on every time I returned them into their kennel between sessions. For example, their food would be in the kennel after AM care, then I would put a galileo bone with frozen canned smeared inside after first training session and then a kong with frozen canned food smeared inside after second training session, then dinner was in the kennel after last walk. I would clean and prepare the bone and kong after last walk and put in the freezer to have for the next day.

    Keep in mind I also made sure I incorporated temperament appropriate play during the training sessions so I basically was trying to mimic a routine that would feasible to reduce anxiety in a similar home setting where the dog may be left by itself for periods of time.

    In the extreme case where a dog is in a crate between sessions and mainly just waiting for their chance to get out and have activity/needs met it will be logical to also have more frustration from the dog.

    I would always think to myself if behavior “problems” in my training environment were going to be “problems” when returned home? If i felt it was related mainly to the training environment I limited my effort in fixing issues like that through training and adjusted the management plan which has almost endless variables to experiment with and tweak.

    Ryan Lugo